Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Without Warning

On Tuesday, we had some brown outs, followed by a black out.

When the power goes out in our house, it's always interesting. It's an old house - it does some interesting things. And when the power flickers, or fails, it tends to go out in half of the house while maintaining full capacity in the other half.

Really, it does make life interesting.

When I used to have my office in the basement, I remember thinking I'd only tripped a fuse because I could hear Kevin watching the tv upstairs. This was when we first discovered the eccentricity that is our home.

But at least when there's a brown out, you can prepare. We have short-term power back-ups for the computers, so you have a few minutes to save your stuff and at least not have to cry and fuss about losing something you've been working on.

Of course, the long-term power failures are never welcome. You never know how long the power might go out for, especially on a day like Tuesday, when it was the whole town and the surrounding area.

When I used to live on a Gulf Island, we'd get some wild windstorms. Well, wild storms all-round. But those windstorms would send trees down, and the trees would take the power lines, and boom - instant power failure.

Longest one I lived through: three days.

So, like I said, the brown outs and the bit of power buffer is most welcome. Because freak acts of nature rarely throw me for the same kind of curve ball as I lived through on the coast.

Now, if only there were some way to have family problems come in on a brown out warning system.

Almost exactly a week ago, I picked up the phone and heard my brother-in-law's voice on the other end of the line. He had news. My mother had turned up at his office looking for him.

That would be the mother he hadn't seen in over 9 years - about 8.5 for me.

The mother that'd never met my husband, never met her two younger grandkids...

The mother that walked out of my life back in 1998, and I let her go, part of me thanking God I didn't have to deal with all that shit anymore. I didn't have to wonder about the next phone call, the next suicide attempt, the next time someone was arrested. I could try to play at being normal. Finally. Only 26 years into my life...

I don't think I've typed much that's been cohesive this week. My mind's been elsewhere most of the time. And, add to that my adventures in babysitting. Nephew Dashiell fell asleep on me and his boogers coagulated on my clothes.

And now I'm a sniffling, hacking, hoarking sicko.

There's a lot in this family situation I'm still sorting through, and I'm not sure when I'll have my head wrapped around it, if ever. I've been feeling a lot of things this week - anger, resentment, frustration.

Best of all, I told my best friend, who told her husband. Know what he said?

"Does this mean Sandra's going to have all sorts of good stuff to write about?"

Yeah, we writers, we sometimes lead tortured lives. And the writing is cheaper than therapy, so at least there's that. In a way, it isn't a bad thing. My female protagonist in Suspicious Circumstances has a poor relationship with her mother, so maybe more experience in the real-life family drama department will be the catalyst to me actually deciding where I want to go with a future Lara/Tymen offering.

Anyway, I just thought you guys should know, because I know I haven't really been myself, nor have I been around the blogs as much as usual.

And I'm not really up for taking shit with my usual brush-off attitude and easy-going disposition.

But I really do appreciate those of you who've been dropping me notes and trying to make me smile this week. This is about the only place right now where I don't feel completely alone, even if I don't feel completely myself.


Christa M. Miller said...

Glad you have a place. It's lonely not to - I know. Hope you're feeling better soon!

Cornelia Read said...

Just remember, Dashiell's boogers are magical boogers. Protection from all bullshit. I promise!

And it's okay to wash them off, too.

Bonnie Calhoun said...

If I stand on my head would it make you laugh....on second thought, it might make me throw up...or down...or what ever the case might be on my head.

So maybe I'll just stand up and spastically jerk around like Stuart on Mad TV....Look what I can do! *she says as she kicks out her right leg and left arm, throwing out her back and landing her in a heap on the floor*

Bernita said...

Read Bonnie's blog, guaranteed to make you laugh and feel better.

Erik Ivan James said...

Heck, Samdra, read anything of mine and you'll chuckle and say "god, how can anybody be this bad and still have the balls to write?"

I'm here, I'll listen, if you need a friend.

Boy Kim said...

A "brown-out"? I'm not even going to ask.

Now, totally randomly, a joke. Of sorts.

A chicken and an egg are lying in bed. The chicken is leaning back against the headboard, smoking a cigarette, with a satisfied look on his face.

The egg, looking mightily pissed off, grabs the sheet, rolls over, and says, "well I guess we finally answered THAT question".

JamesO said...

Small children are evil carriers of bugs. They are best avoided at all costs, but in extreme circumstances, if you cannot avoid contact, perform full spectrum bio-decontamination as soon as possible. Whatever you do, do not allow yourself to come into contact with child bogeys.

OK, so this advice is probably coming a bit late. I always find whisky good when you have a sniffly cold. It doesn't help much with the symptoms, but it tastes good.

M. G. Tarquini said...

I'm at a loss. I haven't one funny thing to say at the moment.


Sandra Ruttan said...

This is all I can muster for the moment:

a brown out is when the power goes to about half output. The lights dim, stuff goes wonky. You've seen it in thriller movies no doubt, when the record player or tape deck suddenly starts playing really selooowow.

In my office, in the overhead light, one bulb goes out, the other dims slightly. That's how I know it's a brown out.

Which is the colour of those unwashed boogers now. C, couldn't you have told me it was okay to wash them off a few days ago?

Trace said...

Big *HUGZ* to you, Sandra.

Anonymous said...

One thing I don't abide is a user personality. Just showing up looking for someone after so many years? Not cool. Not cool at all.

Stuart MacBride said...

"even if I don't feel completely myself."

Quite right too, you shouldn't feel yourself that much, you'll go blind.

What? Oh come on, I can't be the only one thiking that... Oh... I'll get my coat.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Now Stuart, if I'd said, "even if I don't feel myself completely" you'd have a leg to stand on.

But you know, between my blog and Trace's from a few days ago, we seem to have your extra-curricular, so-called private hobbies pegged.

And Jason, yeah, you're hitting on something that's a real problem for me in all this. My husband keeps asking what this means, where it goes from here. How the fuck should I know?

James Goodman said...

I hope her reappearance doesn't wreak any more havok in your life than just the buildup and worry. With any luck it will pass as swiftly as it appeared.

Stephen Blackmoore said...

Hoo boy.

The only thing you can do is make it up as you go. Though it may not feel like it, you get to be in charge of how this plays out. The only person you have any true responsibility to is yourself. Just remember to protect yourself, and that you have people who care about you.

Now that covers the boogers. What to do about your mom, though, I have no idea.

kat said...

Let nothing steal your joy. Give the crap the finger and remember you're better than your mother, strong enough to fight boogers and much smarter than the utility company.

Sandra Ruttan said...

Strong enough to fight boogers?

Wow, the faith some people have in me! Especially right now, with the boogers and kleenex taking over the bed!

Although my nasal issues are nowhere near as extreme as poor Stuart MacBride's. Poor poor Stuart. I think I'm having sympathetic nose pain!

Dana Y. T. Lin said...

A Brown-Out sounds spooky. I know, I'm a big chicken.

Bernita said...

Sandra, you owe her precisely nothing.
Don't allow emotional blackmail to set off the pattern again.